Responding to Michael Balter's message Wednesday morning......
You understate the case against the race-IQ testers. Suppose
Lahn or anyone these days defines a "race" in a genetically
objective way, and claims to have found a link between race
and intelligence. Everyone including the tester knows that
such a finding will be interpreted by the lay public as a
finding that every member of group A is smarter than every
member of group B. (Recall Jose's hypothetical phrasing a
few hundred posts ago.) Everyone also knows this is not a
credible conclusion. Philippe Rushton is saying he can play
the piano better than Oscar Peterson? Really?! Furthermore,
everyone knows it before the experiment is begun. In other
words, the most such an experiment can anticipate in the way
of a positive effect is one which is socially relevant ONLY
AS A LIE. That being so, I DON'T CARE whether the controls
are scrupulously in place and analysis double blind and what
have you; at least I don't care much; the whole project is
Do I believe that there are minuscule differences in
IQ (or most any other measurable trait) between group A and
group B? Sure, I assume there are-- no matter what group A
and group B are, and no matter what the trait is. Can I
guess which way the superiority lies? Usually not. But--
so what? What is the consequence for college admissions, or
the right to vote, or the right to live in Stuyvesant Town?
Those matters can be discussed without benefit of genetics.
They need social statistics (like, Native populations in
several countries have very low proportion of college grads),
but genetics gives no hope of helping. It's good to test
your thinking about such issues against the variable of sex.
The difference in average muscular strength (by any measure)
between 15-year-old males and 15-year-old females in almost
any human population is going to be measurable, and larger
than the differences between "races". That is not generally
taken today as an argument for not letting women in the gym.